Marti Ochogavia | E. BALLESTERO

When Mayor Cifre proposed Martí Ochogavia as the new Justice of the Peace for Pollensa, the opposition were up in arms. This would be an appointment based on political favouritism, Ochogavia having assisted Tomeu Cifre with his election campaign in 2019.

The appointment of Marti Ochogavia first came before a council meeting back in July. This was shelved because there was lack of consensus and also because of a need to resolve, in the mayor’s words, “legal doubts”.

Bringing the appointment back to the council in November, Tomeu Cifre intimated that matters had been sorted. They clearly hadn’t been, as the opposition made precisely the same points that they had in July.

Above all, the appointment was the return of an election favour, Marti Ochogavia having been a “close collaborator of the mayor during the last electoral campaign”, who was now being “handpicked” as JP.

When it came to a vote at the November council meeting, the opposition parties - Junts Avançam, Alternativa per Pollença and Podemos - walked out. Ochogavia was voted in unopposed, the opposition saying that they would take the matter to the Balearic High Court.

The court found that Ochogavia met all the requirements to be a JP. The matter was then referred to the General Council of the Judiciary, the body which ensures the independence of judges (of whatever kind). The General Council approved the court’s report and has rejected the opposition parties’ complaint.

So, it would seem that Martí Ochogavia will be the Justice of the Peace. There is, however, the possibility of appealing against the General Council’s ruling.